Parliament of Georgia is going to kickstart the impeachment procedure against Karlo Kvitaishvili, Chairman of the Georgian National Communications Commission (GNCC), the Georgian daily Rezonansi reported on July 31.
In the course of the July 30 extraordinary Parliamentary sitting Tina Khidasheli, head Temporary Investigative Commission studying GNCC activities presented an interim report and pointed out that the impeachment procedure issue will be raised at the August 6extraordinary sitting.
The materials studied by Khidasheli, the print edition reports, evidence that the Commission applied its authority in a discriminative and non-proportional manner. “The Commission in accordance with the Georgian law on Broadcasting is entitled and obliged to conduct monitoring on the protection of copyright by televisions, and that right has been repeatedly applied by the Commission. Moreover, according to the Georgian law on Broadcasting this right shall not be applied in regard to cable channels but the Commission started applying this right after GMG lobbying issue became important. Virtually every cable company encountered problems and they were imposed GEL 20-30 thousand sanctions in order to get them expelled from the market and let GMG enjoy monopoly,” said Khidasheli speaking at the meeting. She also discussed the cases the criminal prosecution was launched against. “For example the head of Madi LLC was arrested for the refusal to hand over license to GMG and was released after obtaining favorable consent. The company was to recede quite a successful business with 3,000 subscribers to GMG free of charge,” said Tina Khidasheli.
The Rezonansi points out that MP also touched upon the TV company Maestro issue and clarified that cable companies faced problems for their will to further carry Maestro.
Khidasheli also discussed the conflict of interest of the Commission members. “Irakli Chikovani used to be a partner of the advertising business. Legally speaking he held a share in the leading advertising company that owned 90 percent of the advertising market. In relation to Rustavi and Imedi the legal advertising limit tended to be breached and no one made any response to that since Chikovani was the one involved,” Khidasheli underlined.
The tenure of the Temporary Investigative Commission has been extended for a few months, the Rezonansi reports.